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Bringing Back the Vintage Postcard: Inspiring Traveler Interview with Alli Blair

As we travel the globe and send instant online updates, share photos via social media in a second, and click through for international video chat without batting an eye, is the age of sending and receiving the vintage postcard dead? Alli Blair says no.

A young traveler with an adventurous spirit, Alli worked two jobs throughout university in order to save to travel the world, and told her new employers on graduation that she would be using vacation days she didn’t have. To date she has hit 26 countries across 6 continents, and has quite the impressive postcard collection to show.

This week’s inspiring traveler interview: bringing back the age of the vintage postcard with the blogger and photographer behind website “The Vintage Postcard“, Alli Blair.

What do you love the most about travelling?

I love the feeling of being in a new and unknown culture where I will learn about new foods, new languages, and new customs.

I have a very adventurous spirit and nothing can bring that out as much as travel. I love to explore and discover new things while storytelling my experiences!

Alli Blair of The Vintage Postcard

Photographing the Grand Canyon.

What inspired you to start travelling?

My love of antique and vintage maps. One day while I was in university I came across a huge vintage map and brushed my fingertips across it. I realized I wanted to see and do so many things around the world.

I embarked on my first solo trip for six weeks that summer!

What do you love about Vintage Postcards?

I love how inevitably excited I feel when I receive a postcard in the mail. When postcards are combined with my love of antiques and anything vintage, I am so in love!

Handwriting, stamps, envelopes, I love it all.  I love the authenticity of it and the thought and effort that goes behind each postcard.

Is the age of sending and receiving postcards dead?

I believe it is much more “dead” now than in the past, of course. Which is unfortunate because I feel anyone would agree with how much they love receiving a postcard in the mail!

Remember when email first become the new popular, cool thing, and everyone just couldn’t get enough of email? Now I feel that’s how people feel when they receive a note, postcard, or letter in the mail.

Not a bill, not a dumb flyer, not a pizza menu, but a unique and handwritten piece of mail . . . just for you!

Share with us 3 postcards from your most memorable trips abroad.

Interacting with elephants in Luang Prabang, Laos:

I loved the opportunity being so close to my favorite animal. I find elephants so majestic and beautiful. I even feel that my elephant friend was laughing at me as I peeled bananas before feeding them to her! (I wasn’t thinking, clearly!)

Laos Elephants. Photo by Alli Blair

Beauty of Queenstown, New Zealand:

The view of Queenstown from the mountaintop is especially gorgeous. After days and days of endless rain, I finally got to take in the beauty of New Zealand cloud and rain free while I was in Queenstown!

Queenstown New Zealand

Being blessed by a Monk in Chiang Mai, Thailand:

The experience was so spiritual that I felt goose bumps.

Photo by Alli Blair.

You’ve hit 6 continents and 26 countries so far – how do you afford to travel – are you rich?!

Gee, let me think. Ummm, no. I’m generally a very stubborn gal and that day in university when I decided I wanted to travel and see the world . . . I did everything to make it happen!

I worked two jobs in university in order to save enough money and basically told my employers that I would be using vacation days I didn’t have in order to travel. Today, I work and I save and I do and see as much as I can on each trip.

I don’t like to sit and relax when I travel. No time for that. I love being on the move and being as active as I can!

One destination you’re dying to pick up a postcard from?

Japan! Vietnam!

One thing which you don’t like about travelling?

Language barriers. As much as I love learning about new languages, it can be incredibly frustrating when I’m lost and unable to communicate to locals.

You have a flagged globe to keep track of your travels – how do you choose where to go next?

I just have this gut feeling that tells me where I should be going next.

Once I had flights and everything booked for a trip back to England and to see more of the UK. A couple weeks later I didn’t feel right, and cancelled everything in order to travel to South America (even though I lost some money in the process).

Alli Blair of the Vintage Postcard

Biggest cultural shock you have experienced while travelling?

Witnessing dozens of cute, dirty children in Pakbeng, Laos beg for money. They would swarm the ATMs and stick their little hands inside.

Another culture shock for me was witnessing a patpong show in Bangkok.

Three things you can’t travel without?

Ear plugs, camera, and travel journal.

Life lessons you’ve learned from travelling the world?

Confidence, independence, and letting things go.

Most practical piece of advice for those planning travel?

Believe in yourself and your abilities to work through tough situations that come as a surprise.

Maximize your time on the road and take unfortunate situations in stride so when looking back you will not regret a thing and be proud of yourself!

Why should people travel?

To learn things about themselves they had no idea existed and to grow as a well-rounded person. To see and learn about the world and discover how beautiful it really is.

To witness firsthand that the world really isn’t as scary as the media would lead many to believe.

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Alli is a young travel blogger and photographer from Toronto, Canada with an incredible zest for life and adventurous spirit. Seeing the world while writing about it is her greatest passion and fuels her with more life and inspiration than anything else she knows.

Connect with Alli at her blog The Vintage Postcard, or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo by KLMircea. Ha Long Bay by Larry W. Lo. Miyajima, Japan by jim.


  1. We have hundreds (maybe more) of postcards. I agree, I love getting them in the post box, and I still send them out too. Not so many as I used too, but enough. In China we visited a shop where you buy a postcard and write it to yourself, they hold it and send it one year later. It was exciting to get after we had forgotten about it so long ago.

    • Woohoo so glad to hear you still send postcards Rhonda – I try to do it whenever and where-ever I can as well. I always find them stuck to the fridge with magnets when I visit my friends and family back home, so people definitely do appreciate them. It truly is exciting to get something in the mail nowadays which isn’t a bill or a notice :D

      Sending a postcard to yourself a year later is a brilliant idea – love it! I would definitely take that offer up if more places did it :)

  2. Oh yes, I was ALWAYS excited to get a postcard in the mail Alli and Meg, very neat post!


    • So glad you enjoyed the interview Ryan! I haven’t had a permanent address in a while now with our travels lol so receiving them for me is a little tough, though I do love sending them :)

  3. It’s true that many people don’t send postcards anymore. We also stopped sending them when we began using FB. But we started sending them again about two years ago. Postcards actually make people stay in contact MUCH more than social media: those who get a postcard from us always call us to have a little chat. :)

    • So glad to hear you started sending postcards again Mei and Kerstin! They really are a great way to stay in contact – and I think if you receive a postcard it’s so much more personal than FB; people are really touched that you took the time to think of them and sit down and write.

      Happy travels!

  4. I too am saddened by the decline of postcards in the mail. I miss that personal touch. Thanks!

    • It is quite sad that they’re declining – I always love sending them when we’re overseas just because I know how excited I get when I get one in the mail :) Check out our Facebook page every now and the – we’re on a roadtrip up to Alaska right now and make the effort to send postcards to our readers when we can :)

      Usually run it through fun “first person to guess where this photo was taken gets a postcard” comps :)

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